With Assembly elections in Delhi less than a year away, the popular grass roots leader in Delhi, Vijay Goel, has been nominated as the Chief of BJP’s Delhi Unit. Vijay Goel was Union Minister of State in the Government of India from 2001 to 2004. He has been a Member of the 11th, 12th and 13th Lok Sabha as a representative of Chandni Chowk, Delhi. Known as a dynamic and public service oriented person, Vijay Goel gives his insight into the ways by which the BJP will find solutions to the challenges that citizens in Delhi are currently facing. The following is the extract of the interview taken by Organiser representative Anoop Verma.
Your feelings after being nominated as the president of the BJP’s Delhi Unit?
This is a great responsibility entrusted to me by my National President, Shri Rajnath Singh. I will work hard to overcome all the challenges and make the BJP grow in Delhi. At grass roots level, we have a good party organisation; we will bring in more young dynamic workers and further strengthen the party. The party workers have to be enthused, they have to be convinced from heart that the BJP will win the coming election. They have to believe that the BJP is the party to solve the problems that are being faced by the citizens of Delhi. We are going to present our case before the public through a series of campaigns. There is lot of anger in the public after 15 years of misrule by the Congress Party. Large sums of money have been looted in scams like CWG, 2G and others, and there is hardly any development work done at the ground level. The citizens are suffering due to massive rise in electricity tariffs, water bills and there is no facility in unauthorised colonies. More than 40 lakh people are being forced to live in unauthorised colonies, 30 lakh people live in J J clusters, 10 lakh people live in slums. They have no facility at all. In 15 years Congress government has turned the entire Delhi into a slum. BJP will bring a new ray of hope into the hearts and minds of the people. We will convince the citizens that if Vijay Goel can eradicate the menace of the lottery from this country, then he can also reduce the electricity tariffs.
What are the major challenges that Delhi faces?
The most major challenge that Delhi faces is that the city has no planned growth. There is no planning at all. The Master Plan for the city has been deferred many times by the Sheila Dikshit Government. It is scandalous that the Urban Development Minister has been quoted as saying that we ought to throw the Master Plan into the dustbin. During the last elections, the Congress leaders had been tom-tomming that they will convert Delhi into Paris, but four years of their misrule has resulted in Delhi resembling Paris in only one area – sky-high costs. The infrastructure, the basic facilities are nowhere comparable to that of Paris. The people in the city are suffering, because there is first world cost of living and third world infrastructure. How can a middle class man, a salaried man, a poor man, balance his monthly expenditure when there is continuous rise in the price of electricity and water!
During the recent times there has been an upsurge in crimes against women. What is your view of law and order situation in the city?
Law and order in Delhi is going from bad to worse. I am ashamed to note that now the Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt Sheila Dikshit, has started offering various excuses for her inability to make the city safe for women. The Chief Minister has accepted that there is rise in number of attacks on women as many of them have started emerging out of their house for working in offices; she also says that the crime is rising because too many people from Bihar and UP are coming in Delhi in search of jobs. The Government in Centre is of Congress and the Government in Delhi is of Congress, yet they can’t assure the safety of women! The Chief Minister is trying to shrug off the responsibility from her shoulders. If BJP comes to power in Delhi it would give top priority to security of the Delhiites. We will make people of Delhi come out on the streets and join the agitation for better law and order.
What strategy are you going to adopt to ensure that Congress Party is defeated?
BJP’s only strategy is to wake up the public about their rights. We want to tell the public that you deserve much more. It is possible to have world-class roads in Delhi. It is possible to bring down the electricity bills. It is possible to significantly improve law and order situation in the city. It is possible to reduce water bills and improve the quality of water that is being supplied. We will convince the pubic that the BJP is the right party to get all these things done. We will improve the roads; we will bring down the price of electricity and water. The law and order situation will be much better when BJP is in power in Delhi. We will fight for the rights of the people. We will ensure that there are better hospitals, better schools in the national capital. I wish to remind you that I was instrumental in getting the lottery trade banned across the country. Bringing down the price of electricity and water will be top agenda of the BJP in Delhi. We will find a solution to the problem of the high electricity and water bills that the citizens are being forced to pay every month.
How does BJP plan to counter the immense money power that other political parties in Delhi have?
We, in the BJP, do not believe that money power will have such a decisive role to play in the coming elections. The voters in Delhi are extremely mature and they are not going to be swayed by any display of pomp and wealth. Maybe it is true that the Congress has more resources, more funds, but you can’t win elections through funds alone. If money power was the only thing that counted in elections, then all the industrialists would have been sitting in the Parliament. That, as you see, is not the case. BJP does not believe in money power, the Party believes in going to the public with a comprehensive agenda for the development and prosperity of all. We want to come to power in Delhi, as we wish to work for a better and more developed Delhi. A developed Delhi for all – for Middle Class, for unauthorised colonies, for J J clusters, for villages around Delhi and for slums. The voters in the city understand very clearly that BJP is the right party to bring development to the city.
Currently the villages adjoining Delhi are completely neglected. What are the BJP’s plans for the villages?
It is shocking that in the villages there are hardly any roads. There is problem of drinking water and electricity. Basic infrastructures like hospitals and schools are in short supply. The Congress government in Delhi seems to be working only in the last year of their term, for four years they were sleeping. The BJP will work for solving the problems that the adjoining villages around Delhi faces. We will solve problems in the Lal Dora areas. We will extend the Lal Dora. We will give more compensation for the land that is acquired for infrastructure related activities. BJP will solve the house tax problems that many villagers face. We will ensure that the villages have proper roads, proper water supply, proper electricity, hospitals, schools, and other things.